The Land of Fragrance :KARNATAKA
State Capital: Bangalore
Language: Kannada, Tulu, Konkani, Hindi and English.
Best time to Visit: September to April
Airport: Bangalore, Mangalore and Belgaum
Situated in the southern part of India; the province of Karnataka spreads over the Deccan Plateau. Geographically, Karnataka can be divided in to three regions viz coastal strip along the Arabian Sea, the Western Ghats of Sahyadri hills, and plains of the east. Karnataka shares its borders with as many as five states. With the Arabian Sea in the west, Karnataka shares its borders with Goa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The climate of Karnataka like the most of the state of India is typical tropical climate. It rings under the severe heat in the months of April and May and experiences monsoon during the month of June till August. The winters are not too cold but pleasant enough to have a great time.
This fast growing IT state with the capital being Bangalore, the Silicon city of India, is a cradle of the Indian Dravidian culture. Famous for its Vrindavan Gardens, the Shravana Belagola temple, the monuments of Hampi and Halebid, Karnataka is fast shifting form an ancient cultural heritage destination to become the Silicon Valley of India, with Bangalore its capital. The hills full of greenery and gushing waterfalls, the sea beaches with splashing water, the sanctuaries where elephants and tigers roam freely, the scent of spices and coffee at Coorg, the magnificent palaces and gardens built by the kings and the ancient monuments standing mute witness to the royal legacy, all with the essence of Carnatic music is what one finds while traveling to Karnataka. Bordering as many as five states the cuisine of Karnataka has a unique mixed flavour of its neighbouring regions in its culinary delights. The Kunda of Belgaum and the Bishibili Anna are the most palatable flavours of Karnataka.
Evidences found after the excavations at Hallur in Dharwad region of Karnataka have proved that the history of Karnataka dates back to the Stone Age. But the people of this age were much forward as their counterparts from the North. They had already adopted the use of iron which is evident from the priced find of an axe dated to 1200 B.C. Karnataka came under one rule and prominence under the rulers of Badami, the Chalukya dynasty who ruled during the 5th and 6th century A.D. The Chalukya had a great interest in art and architecture thus giving a boost to the local handicraft and architecture. The Chalukyas built some of the very early Hindu temples in India. But before the Chalukyas arrived, Karnataka was ruled over by the Satvahan and the Kadamb dynasties. The Hoysala dynasty followed the Ganga and the Rashtrakut dynasties. The Hoysala rulers who ruled from the 11th to the 13th century too contributed in the architecture by building more than 150 temples, each one is a master piece in its own way at Somnathpur, Halebid and Belur.It was the Vijayanagara Empire that fell to the Deccan Sultan in 1565 A.D. and since then Bijapur became the most important city of the region. With this Islamic rule began in the state of which Haider Ali and his Son Tipu sultan became the most coveted heroes of the state. Tipu Sultan, known as the Tiger of Karnataka, expanded the Mysore kingdom and gave a tough fight to the British but eventually was killed thus leaving the throne to British. After the Indian Independence the state of Mysore was merged in the Republic of India and it was in 1956 that the present state of Karnataka was formed.
Today Karnataka is better known as the state of charming contrasts, with the modern blending harmoniously with the old. It has, also, some of the most magnificent monuments, temples, palaces and beaches in the country. The innumerous temples and the beautiful architecture give it an incomparable charm. The name Karnataka comes from the Karanadu which means a lofty land. This lofty land since past has been famous for various things. The state has many gardens and was once famous as the rich princely state of Mysore. Although the principal language is Kanada, another dialect Tulu and the languages of various states such Konkani from Goa and Marathi from Maharashtra are widely spoken. A wide array of vegetarian and non vegetarian food is the specialty of the state. The cuisine of Karnataka has blended its flavours with the rest of neighbouring states food, thus creating an irresistible fare of a lip smacking food. Shopping in Karnataka is a pleasure. Fragrant incense sticks, pure sandalwood, silk sarees and objects made of wood are definitely worth the money.